Previous experience/key activities


Previous Transplanted Roots presentations

2015 Transplanted Roots: Percussion Research Symposium (Montreal)

Topic of the Symposium: “Alpha, Beta, Omega: New Ideas for Percussion”

Nearly 40 years old, Mauricio Kagel’s masterpiece Dressur (1976/77) has become a standard piece within the chamber percussion repertoire. Originally composed for the group Trio le Cercle, Dressur is written to fit the characters of three very different men: a shy introvert, a spunky outgoing extrovert, and a more dominating controller of the two. The piece depicts the three performers as caged animals in a zoo, putting on a show for the audience. As the music evolves, so does the sanity of the performers, or vice versa. The end result is seeing the performers’ struggle as they fight to find and create a context for their existence on stage.

As young women performing the piece today there are two questions we ask ourselves: How does the historical creation and underlying theme (only passed down orally) affect our interpretation? Within this work created for an all male trio, how can we address the problems we encounter as an all female trio, highlight our own assets, and give an accurate interpretation of the piece?


2017 Transplanted Roots: Percussion Research Symposium (Brisbane)

Topic of the Symposium: “Borderless Instruments: Journeys, Stories & Adaptations of our Sounding Objects”

The Breathing Canvas is a performative installation work that involves the collaboration between Kenny Wong (media artist), Karen Yu (percussionist), and Zihua Tan (composer). The work is based on an earlier media installation of Wong, The Canvas of Resonance (2012). The original version features a stand-alone installation, which produces sound and light. The audience is able to walk around in order to experience the piece according to his or her design. In 2015, the three of us came together and decided to expand the dimensionality of The Canvas of Resonance. We aim to push the limits of this instrument, from a supporting role to an interactive and performative solo instrument from which multifarious sonic and visual materials can be drawn. The innovative use of the thunder sheet refreshes our perspective on an object of fixed identity by bringing it into the context of installation art and contemporary music. In our work, the instrument no longer serves to enhance any scene – the performance of it itself is the scene.


Related Past Key Activities

King of Denmark by Morton Feldman, performed by Karen Yu

Les Uns II by Philippe Leroux, performed by Alexandre Haupt, Robert Cosgrove and Karen Yu. This version is developed during our collaboration with Leroux and it is an updated version of the original percussion trio, Les Uns.